10 Flavored Water Kefir Recipes to Try this Summer - LIFE'S A PEARL (2024)

We enjoy water kefir all year round as a fermented beverage full of healthy probiotics. Even our dog, Pearl, looks forward to her daily allotment each morning. It helps all of us maintain gut health. It’s our most consistent ferment.

While kombucha is more popular and well known, I find water kefir to be easier to ferment and a lot tastier! To learn more about this easy ferment and how to make it, check out my post, How to Ferment Water Kefir.

During the summer months though I especially look forward to making flavored bottles of water kefir in a second fermentation step.

This offers a bubbly refreshing fruity alternative to sodas, juices, or other sugar filled beverages that are tempting as thirst quenchers. I love experimenting with different flavor options!

Why Drink Water Kefir?

  • It’s a probiotic rich drink full of valuable enzymes, B vitamins, and minerals.
  • Water kefir is a great dairy free alternative to milk kefir while offering the same benefits.
  • Drinking it regularly helps maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in your digestive tract.
  • It aids the immune system by optimizing gut health.
  • With proper care you can use the same set of grains indefinitely to continuously ferment.

10 Flavored Water Kefir Recipes to Try this Summer - LIFE'S A PEARL (1)

How to Make Carbonated and Flavored Water Kefir

What You Will Need:

  • a clean sealed container for fermenting in like swing top bottles, clean soda or water bottles, or even a jar
  • finished water kefir
  • flavoring of your choice
  • a small funnel

Notes and Tips for Flavored Water Kefir:

I use 16 oz swing top bottles for my second ferment. Some people prefer 32 oz bottles. I know others who use plastic bottles for their second ferment to completely avoid the possibility of exploding glass. That’s a great option if you’re absent minded about burping your ferments.

To flavor or carbonate water kefir you need finished water kefir or water kefir that has gone through the first fermentation process.

Flavorings can be anything from fresh fruit to juice to dried fruit or herbs and spices. For a 16 oz bottle I recommend adding 1/4 cup of juice, 1/8 cup of sliced fresh fruit, and just dash or a few leaves of spices or herbs. If you’re using a strong juice like lemon or lime start with only 1/8 cup of juice.

If you only wish to flavor your water kefir, you could move the bottles to the fridge immediately.

To carbonate the water kefir in addition to flavoring, leave the bottles out for 24 to 72 hours to undergo a second ferment. Remember to burp the bottles once a day! Pressure can build up quickly and lead to exploding bottles that are both dangerous and messy.

I’ve also taken to burping the bottles outside after having to clean watermelon off the ceiling once due to an unexpected pressure change. That sort of pressure has never occurred again but once was enough.

Flavored Water Kefir Directions:

1. Add your flavoring of choice to the bottom of your bottle or container.

2. Use the little funnel to pour the finished water kefir in. Leave at least 1 inch of head space of the top of the bottle.

3. To carbonate and flavor, allow 24 to 72 hrs for a second ferment. Burp the bottles once a day!

4. When the bottles have carbonation, move them to the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy. The cold stops the fermentation process and make the beverage even more refreshing.

10 Flavored Water Kefir Recipes to Try this Summer - LIFE'S A PEARL (2)

10 Flavored Water Kefir Recipes to Try

All recipes are to make one 16 oz bottle of flavored water kefir and require adding just under 16 oz of finished water kefir.

1. Strawberry Pineapple

  • 1 medium strawberry sliced
  • 1 pineapple ring sliced or 3-4 chunks
  • 1/8 cup pineapple juice

2. Pineapple Mint

  • 1 pineapple ring sliced or 3-4 chunks
  • 1/8 cup pineapple juice
  • 5 – 6 mint leaves (chopped or muddled will give even more flavor)

10 Flavored Water Kefir Recipes to Try this Summer - LIFE'S A PEARL (3)

3. Strawberry Watermelon with Lemon

  • 1 medium strawberry sliced
  • 1 watermelon chunk sliced (about 1/8 cup)
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice

4. Blackberry

  • 4 – 5 blackberries muddled up

Note: This is one that we definitely strain right before drinking to avoid annoying seeds. If you like mint, a few leaves are a refreshing addition to the blackberry

10 Flavored Water Kefir Recipes to Try this Summer - LIFE'S A PEARL (4)

5. Mango Ginger

  • 1 mango slice cut up or muddled (about 1/8 cup)
  • 1/2 inch to 1 inch piece of ginger minced depending on how strong you like your ginger

6. Ginger Beer

  • 1/2 inch to 1 inch piece of ginger minced
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

7. Strawberry Lemonade

  • 1 medium to large strawberry sliced
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

10 Flavored Water Kefir Recipes to Try this Summer - LIFE'S A PEARL (5)

8. Lemon Lime

  • a tbsp lemon juice
  • a tbsp lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

9. Mojito

  • 1/8 cup lime juice
  • 6 to 8 mint leaves chopped or muddled
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

10. Watermelon with Lemon Cucumber

  • 1 watermelon chunk sliced (about 1/8 cup)
  • half of a lemon cucumber sliced (about 1/8 cup)

10 Flavored Water Kefir Recipes to Try this Summer - LIFE'S A PEARL (6)

Have you tried water kefir before? What are your favorite fruit flavor combinations for summer drinks?

10 Flavored Water Kefir Recipes to Try this Summer - LIFE'S A PEARL (7) 10 Flavored Water Kefir Recipes to Try this Summer - LIFE'S A PEARL (8)

10 Flavored Water Kefir Recipes to Try this Summer - LIFE'S A PEARL (2024)


What sugar is best for water kefir? ›

Good: Rapadura Sugar

Rapadura (and similarly pressed cane sugars called sucanat or panela) is the least refined sugar. It's produced by pressing the pure juice from the sugar cane, then cooking at low temps to evaporate the water.

How long can water kefir grains last in the fridge? ›

Store grains in the fridge unless absolutely necessary. If you have to, we recommend storing them no longer than two weeks, and even so, expect the grains to take a few rounds of culturing to snap back. Rinse your grains. Doing so takes off the protective bacteria that makes them thrive.

Is kefir water better than kombucha? ›

Kefir is creamy, slightly sour, and often compared to a thinned yogurt. Kombucha is carbonated, and it has a vinegar smell, bitter taste, and characteristic slimy live culture that often sits at the bottom.

Can you add too much sugar to water kefir? ›

Too much sugar or too many water kefir grains can lead to over fermentation and more alcohol content.

Does water kefir raise blood sugar? ›

Why is water kefir sometimes ok for diabetics to consume? The bacteria and yeast produce enzymes that break down the sucrose (the double sugar that sugar is composed of) into fructose and glucose. Fructose is digested by the liver and does not spike the blood sugar of diabetics like sucrose or glucose.

Why add raisins to water kefir? ›

Add a small handful of raisins to your next culturing batch, ensuring the raisins are free of oil and sulfur. Your grains will feast upon the natural sugar. Fun fact, if you eat the raisins after the culturing time, they won't be sweet anymore. Bonus: because of the extra fruit sugar, extra carbonation should develop.

Is water kefir a laxative? ›

So even though kefir may act as a mild laxative, it did not cause diarrhea or softer stools for people who have normal bowel movements.

Is honey good for water kefir? ›

Honey. Raw honey has its own bacteria that can compete with water kefir grains; some honey is contaminated with high fructose corn syrup; We DO NOT recommend using this for making water kefir.

How do I know if I killed my water kefir? ›

To find out if your water kefir grains have died, you can test them by making them ferment a new batch. If the grains are dead, the water will remain very sweet and there will be no sign of fermentation. Another sign is the appearance of mould on the surface.

How do you know if water kefir has gone bad? ›

It's very difficult to have truly contaminated kefir due to the very nature of the billions of cultures in contains. If however it is contaminated, it will be an off color, thick texture to the water and/or off smell and you will be able to recognize this (it will not be subtle).

Can I add maple syrup to kefir? ›

A fizzy, slightly tangy, and uniquely flavored beverage. Ingredients You'll Need: 1/4 cup water kefir grains. 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (adjust to taste)

Can you drink too much kefir water? ›

The bottom line. Adding kefir to your diet can be an easy and delicious way to increase your intake of probiotics. However, drinking too much can have several side effects, including digestive issues. It also contains carbs and a small amount of alcohol, so it may not be suitable for everyone.

Does water kefir help with anxiety? ›

Fermented food and drinks with active probiotic cultures such as water kefir or kimchi can be a great way to bring balance to your gut flora. Having this balance of good and bad bacteria can help reduce anxiety and stress levels.

Is brown sugar OK for water kefir? ›

Water kefir is considered to be a functional food with probiotic characteristics. It can be improved with addition of organic brown sugar and fruits native to Brazil, such as jaboticaba.

Can I use granulated sugar for water kefir? ›

Yes. Water kefir grains have evolved to feed on granulated white sugar and cannot properly ferment without it. Thick sugars like turbinado, sugar in the raw, and brown sugar are too difficult for the Water Kefir grains to break down and process.

Can I use turbinado sugar for water kefir? ›

Heat 1 cup of unchlorinated water and add 1/4 cup of sugar of your choice, then stir to dissolve and let cool. (Turbinado works best. You can also use piloncillo sugar or pure cane sugar. Make sure its PURE cane sugar, because some companies also use beet sugar in it as well.)

How sweet should water kefir be? ›

Taste: After the 48-hour culturing process, the finished kefir should be less sweet than the sugar water you started with. Please note: finished kefir will still be fairly sweet as it does still contain fructose which is naturally very sweet. But it should be at least a bit less sweet than the original sugar water.

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